Photos courtesy Joe Mayday.
With just seven days until the FUCHS Winternationals, it has been officially confirmed today that US NHRA star Tommy Johnson Jr. will pilot the second Rapisarda International Autosport Top Fuel entry at next weekend's event (Friday 7 June to Monday 10 June 2013).
To be held across the Queen's Birthday long weekend, the FUCHS Winternationals is the largest championship drag race held outside of Johnson Jr.'s homeland, and will be the second Australia event this year for the nine time NHRA national event winner, who has also raced in the US, the United Arab Emirates, England, Sweden and Finland.
Stepping into the same Top Fuel dragster piloted at Willowbank Raceway in March by renowned US racer Larry Dixon – who reset the national elapsed time record for the bracket to 4.503 seconds after a attention-grabbing 'spin' the day before – the Indiana-based racer will be focused on making an impact when he hits the track this weekend.
"I am very confident heading to Willowbank Raceway, and I am sure we will shoot for some big numbers and maybe even try to reset the national record for Top Fuel," said Johnson Jr.
"Driving the same dragster which Larry had so much success in at Willowbank Raceway in March, combined with the fact the team have been to the track recently, I know we have the equipment and the data to run really well.
"After my appearance at the Nitro Champs I am certainly inspired to get a win in Queensland next weekend and hopefully re-write Larry's record - I currently hold the European Elapsed Time record and it would be great to have my name on the record books in Australia as well."
In May Johnson Jr. wasn't able to squeeze in any sightseeing ahead of his Nitro Champs appearance, and with the late confirmation of his entry to the FUCHS Winternationals he will have to wait until after the event to play tourist.
"Australia definitely had an impression on me back in May and I really enjoyed my time there. The people were so nice and I have already made some great friendships. ," said Johnson Jr.
"With this confirmation of my entry coming so close to the event it is certainly going to be a whirlwind preparation for me so the sightseeing might have to wait until after race day, but I sure hope I will be able to squeeze some in before I fly back home, but my main focus is on winning the Winternationals and getting the trophy!"
Johnson Jr. will be one of three US drivers flying over for the event, joining California's Rhett Lougheed in Pro Stock Motorcycle and Seattle's Brandon Huhtala in Pro Stock.
The FUCHS Winternationals, held across the Queen's Birthday long weekend (including the Monday public holiday) on 7-10 June, is the largest championship drag racing event held outside of the United States. Entries for the event closed last week, with 476 racers signing up for the event which is expected to host up to 40,000 spectators over its four days, with competitors travelling from across the country as well as from New Zealand and the United States to take part.
For spectators, a range of ticketing options are available including special pre-purchase online-only multi-day event passes. Students and Concession Hard holders with ID gain discounts, while children aged 13 and under gain free entry. For full information, please visit www.willwobankraceway.com.au.